Mid-Century Modern Furniture Then and Now - Paradigm Gallery Blog

Architects and Their Chairs “K”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On May 18th

                   “K” is for Kurokawa

 

Organic design … Kisho Kurokawa with a model. Photo: Rob Gilhooly

Organic design … Kisho Kurokawa with a model.  Photo: Rob Gilhooly

 

Kisho Kurokawa struggled to get commissions early in his career and was so poor he made his models from noodles, photographed them after they were dry, then cooked and ate them. SMH.comau

 

image via deviant art http://daaakota.deviantart.com/art/Kisho-Kurokawa-101663852

image via deviant art http://daaakota.deviantart.com/art/Kisho-Kurokawa-101663852

 

*Kurokawa, was a founding member of the influential Metabolism Movement, which advocates buildings that are flexible, organic and replaceable.

* Metabolism (新陳代謝 shinchintaisha?) was a post-war Japanese architectural movement that fused ideas about architectural megastructures with those of organic biological growth. Wikipedia

* Kurokawa, who was fluent in English, was an articulate advocate and a prolific writer of deeply philosophical books that discussed the “age of life” rather than the “age of the machine”. SMH.comau

Kisho Kurokawa was very innovative in his creation of the Nakagin Capsule Tower in 1972, which was the first capsule architecture design. The module was created with the intention of housing traveling businessmen that worked in central Tokyo during the week. It is a prototype for architecture of sustainability and recycleability, as each module can be plugged in to the central core and replaced or exchanged when necessary. ArchDaily

 

Nakagin Capsule 1972 Image via arch daily ©arcspace

Nakagin Capsule  Image via ArchDaily ©arcspace

 

Nakagin Capsule 1972 Image via arch daily ©arcspace

Nakagin Capsule 1972 Image via ArchDaily ©arcspace

 

Fractal Chair by Kisho Kurokawa

Fractal Chair by Kisho Kurokawa

 

Kisho Kurokawa - Edo chair

Kisho Kurokawa – Edo chair

 

Kisho Kurokawa, Edo Armchair, for Tendo Co.

Kisho Kurokawa, Edo Armchair, for Tendo Co.

 

 

The purpose of of this page is to to provide information and images about mid century and modern architects, their architecture and their furniture designs. We are not providing these posts with the intent of profit, but purely for intersted parties.

We try to supply the correct information and credits to those who originated the intellectual properties. If we have incorrectly stated anything please contact us and we will correct it immediately.

 

 

 

Video   https://youtu.be/XKGKe4x5XTw

Kisho Kurokawa – Key Buildings

Designs by Kisho Kurokawa, alphabetical:

Astana – Masterplan, Kazakhstan
1998-2004
Kisho Kurokawa: design competition win

Fukui City Museum of Art, Fukui, Japan
1993-96

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima
1988-89

Kibi-cho City Hall / Kibi Dome, Wakayama, Japan
1993-95

Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1992-98

Louvain-La-Neuve Museum, Belgium
1990-92

Melbourne Central, Melbourne, Australia
1986-91

The Museum of Modern Art Wakayama, Wakayama, Japan
1990-94

Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya, Japan
1983-87

Nakagin Capsule Tower, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
1970-72

Nara City Museum of Photography, Nara, Japan
1989-91

National Gallery in Tokyo, Roppongi, Tokyo
2000-05
Design: Kishō Kurokawa Architects & Associates ; Nihon Sekkei Inc.
Worlds Spectacular Museum Buildings
photo : Kevin Hemphill
National Art Center Tokyo

National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan
1973-77

Osaka International Convention Centre, Osaka
1994-2000

Saitama Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan
1978-82

Singapore Flyer – observation wheel, Marina Bay, Singapore
2005-08
Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates with DP Architects

Sony Tower, Osaka, Japan
1972-76

The Sporting Club at Illinois Center, Chicago, USA
1987-90

Toyota City Stadium, Toyota City, Japan
1997-2001

Van Gogh Museum – New Wing, Amsterdam, Netherlands
1990-98

Zenit Stadium, St.Petersburg, Russia
2006-09

Architects and Their Chairs “J”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On September 14th

  “J” is for Juhl

 

In Copenhagen, A Renaissance for Finn Juhl By Stephen Brookes • Modernism Magazine • Winter 2010

In Copenhagen, A Renaissance for Finn Juhl
        By Stephen Brookes • Modernism Magazine • Winter 2010

Finn Juhl (30 January 1912 – 17 May 1989) was a Danish architect, interior and industrial designer. Juhl was most notably known for his furniture design and for introducing Danish Modern to America in the 1940’s.

“Juhl’s life was, in fact, a roller coaster of fame and obscurity. High-profile projects in the 1940’s and 50’s (including the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the Danish ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC and all of SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ air terminals in Europe and Asia) brought him international recognition, and he organized many of the exhibitions — including the “Good Design” exhibit in Chicago in 1951, and another at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1960.”                                                                                                           In Copenhagen, A Renaissance for Finn Juhl By Stephen Brookes • Modernism Magazine •

Salto & Sigsgaard. The restoration of the Finn Juhl–designed United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, New York. Photography by Hans Ole Madsen.

Salto & Sigsgaard. The restoration of the Finn Juhl–designed United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, New York. Photography by Hans Ole Madsen. Image via Salto and Sigsgaard pinterest

“One cannot create happiness with beautiful objects, but one can spoil quite a lot of happiness with bad ones” – Finn Juhl

 

Finn Juhl: Pelikan Take Sunset LA

Finn Juhl: Pelikan Take Sunset LA

 Pelikan is a wonderful example of Finn Juhl’s design. Inspired by the modern “free art” of the time, its organic shape and fluid lines are so inviting. . Via takesunset.com

Pelikan is a wonderful example of Finn Juhl’s design. Inspired by the modern “free art” of the time, its organic shape and fluid lines are so inviting. Via takesunset.com

 

Unlike many of his contemporaries in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe, Juhl was as interested in form as in function.  “A chair is not just a product of decorative art in a space,” he said. “It is a form and a space in itself.”  His  attention to form led him to design chairs where the seat is separate from the frame (images 5, 6 & 8) and sofas constructed out of floating shapes.http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

 

Item Description Bwana Chair, designed by Finn Juhl, Denmark 1962. prod. by France and Son, Denmark 1962. teak. -via deconet.com

Item Description Bwana Chair, designed by Finn Juhl, Denmark 1962.
prod. by France and Son, Denmark 1962. teak. -via deconet.com

Juhl gave a soft edge to the lines of wooden modernist chairs, favoring organic shapes which often took the wood to the limits of what was possible. He generally used teak and other dark woods, unlike many of the other proponents of the Danish Modern movement who often used oak in their designs.

He was influenced by the abstract sculptor Jean Arp, an influence which is seen already in his early Pelican chair but it remained a motif throughout his career. Also influenced by tribal art, Juhl exhibited the Chieftain chair with photos of weapons from anthropological studies.   Wikipedia

Bradley: “Denmark is a Disneyland for adults, for design geeks.”

Modernist Architecture 

Blog post: Modernism through the eyes of an architectural photographer.  Darren Bradley and Denise Bradley visit Finn Juhl’s House, “a person’s house says so much about their character”.

 

Finn Juhl Architecture, Estate photo courtesy Finn Juhl Estate

Finn Juhl Architecture, Estate photo courtesy Finn Juhl Estate

 

Finn Juhl Homeoffice via Dansk Mobel Kunst http://www.dmk.dk/blog/page/2/

Finn Juhl Homeoffice via Dansk Mobel Kunst

 

Architects and Their Chairs “F”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On September 30th

           “F” is for Ferrari-Hardoy

 

The first of the Butterfly chairs came out of the Argentinian architectural firm, Grupo Austral, in 1938. The Austral Group was comprised of Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy, Juan Kurchan and Antoni Bonet (Catalonia), who had met as assistants in Le Corbusier's Paris atelier. The chair is occasionally known as the BKF chair, for Bonet-Kurchan-Ferrari.

Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy and The Butterfly Chair

 

Ferrari-Hardoy is one of the most important architects of Argentina. He belongs to the generation of Argentinean architects that advocated the ideas of modernism.

Ferrari-Hardoy studied until 1937 at the renowned “Escuela de Arquitectura” in Buenos Aires. He then went to Europe and spent a few months in Paris. Inspired by Le Corbusier who – as a representative of the „Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne“ (CIAM) – had a particular interest in Latin America, Ferrari-Hardoy worked closely with him on the elaboration of a first urban master plan for Buenos Aires. In addition, Ferrari-Hardoy was lecturer at the “Escuela Industrial” in La Plata, the “Escuela de Arquitectura y Urbanismo de la Universidad del Litoral” and at the University of Buenos Aires.

 

Edificio Los Eucaliptus / Jorge Ferrari Hardoy + Juan Kurchan

Edificio Los Eucaliptus / Jorge Ferrari Hardoy + Juan Kurchan

 

His Architectural firm, Austral developed pioneering projects, discussed the relevant aspects of contemporary architecture, and participated in exhibitions, competitions and conferences. Moreover, the group members were actively seeking international exposure; they exchanged ideas with architects from other countries and published the magazine “Nosotros”. In addition, Austral organized cultural events and included painters, sculptors, musicians, photographers, doctors, sociologists and educators in their work.

 

 

image via The Modern View - Weinbaum

image via The Modern View – Weinbaum

 

Starting in 1937 the office had been charged with the planning works for a university town on the site of the old port of Buenos Aires, residential buildings in the southern part of the city as well as the construction of hospitals, sports facilities and schools along the central avenue Corrientes. At all their works, Ferrari-Hardoy promoted the use of composable industrial elements and employed curved glass panels and sun visors, as evidenced by the “Ateliers” (1938) at the corner Suipacha and Paraguay. Together with Juan Kurchan he developed from 1941 to 1944 a residential complex in the district of Belgrano. The building became quickly popular because of its implanted tree inside the patio.  The Modern View _ Weinbaum

 

Colorful Marimekko KIVET fabric adorns these cheerful butterflies. Don't you just love the way they stand out against the colors in the landscape? by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture http://bit.ly/1DDPB0C

Colorful Marimekko KIVET fabric adorns these cheerful butterflies. Don’t you just love the way they stand out against the colors in the landscape?
by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture http://bit.ly/1DDPB0C

 

 

The BKF chair is a modern update of the Paragon chair which was first made for use as campaign furniture in the 1870s. A later version of the design was known as the Tripolina chair, a portable chair introduced in the early 20th century. Jorge Ferrari Hardoy along with Antonio Bonet and Juan Kurchan developed the BKF in 1938 for an apartment building they designed in Buenos Aires. On July 24, 1940, the chair was shown at the 3rd Salon de Artistas Decoradores exhibition where it was discovered by the Museum of Modern Art. At the request of MoMA design director Edgar Kaufmann Jr., Hardoy sent 3 pre-production chairs to New York. One is in the MoMA collection and one is at the Frank Lloyd Wright house Fallingwater, but no one knows where the third chair went. Naming the BKF as one of the “best efforts of modern chair design,” Kaufmann accurately predicted that it would become extremely popular in the US.  Wikipedia

 

 

black-butterfly-chair black leather buttery Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy butterfly chair from Stella Harasek’s home.
Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy butterfly chair from Stella Harasek’s home. http://bit.ly/1CtxhG1

 

 

Found on houseandhome.com
Found on houseandhome.com

 

 

Bored with the monotony of suburbia? So was Harry Seidler when he arrived from America in 1948.
The potential of the Australian landscape fascinated him, but our boxy homes did not. As a result he embraced a modernist philosophy to create this liveable, functional sculptural home for his parents Rose and Max. However, their Viennese furniture was all but banned from the house by Seidler who favoured features such as open-plan living spaces, minimal colour schemes and built in wardrobes. Thanks to Harry they all made their Australian debuts here.

 

 

The mural at Rose Seidler House (designed by Harry Seidler) sundeck and reproduction Hardoy chairs. Photographer: Justin Mackintosh The Rose Seidler House was designed by Harry Seidler for his parents, Max and Rose, and is located in Wahroonga, on the outskirts of Sydney. Built in the late 1940s, it was his first Australian commission. It is a minimalist, open-plan design with all the modern conveniences of the day. Found on blog.selector.com

The mural at Rose Seidler House (designed by Harry Seidler) sundeck and reproduction Hardoy chairs. Photographer: Justin Mackintosh

The Rose Seidler House was designed by Harry Seidler for his parents, Max and Rose, and is located in Wahroonga, on the outskirts of Sydney. Built in the late 1940s, it was his first Australian commission. It is a minimalist, open-plan design with all the modern conveniences of the day. Found on blog.selector.com

Appreciated by connoisseurs, hipsters and students alike, the butterfly also presaged the disposable-furniture onslaught a half-century later. “It appeared at a moment when there was such a demand for cheap furniture, but furniture that identified with a new aesthetic,” Kinchin says. “You’ve got this burst of color and fun really coming into midcentury modern interiors.” Today MoMA holds a Hardoy in its permanent collection, and Walmart sells one for $39. Somehow it all makes sense.“It’s so minimal,” Dror Benshetrit, designer of the well-regarded Peacock Chair, says of its high-low appeal. “It’s so effortless.”  By HILARY GREENBAUM and DANA RUBINSTEIN  NYTimes Magazine 2012

 

Jorge Ferrari Hardoy-Butterfly 經典蝴蝶椅 W82 x D85 x H96 cm Manufactured by Knoll International of USA, designed by Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, 1938.
Jorge Ferrari Hardoy-Butterfly
經典蝴蝶椅
W82 x D85 x H96 cm
Manufactured by Knoll International of USA,
designed by Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, 1938.

 

An example of some of the chairs other monikers: the B.K.F. Chair, Hardoy Chair, Butterfly Chair, Safari Chair, Sling Chair, or Wing ChairAn estimated 5 million of these chairs were produced during the 1950′s by numerous manufacturers under various names.The tubular steel frame was enamelled and the sling seat was leather. http://bebob.eu/en/designer/hardoy-ferrari/

The B.K.F. chair,  patented in 1877, was originally mass-produced by Artek-Pascoe. In 1945 Knoll took over production and it was a tremendous success. Unlicensed knock-offs and the loss of a Knoll copyright suit have made this one of the most copied chairs of modern design and it became one of the most widely copied chairs in existence. http://bebob.eu/en/designer/hardoy-ferrari/

 

 

Life of and Architect http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/knoll-hardoy-butterfly-chairs/

Life of and Architect
http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/knoll-hardoy-butterfly-chairs/

 

 

Found on m.cb2.com 1938 bergama butterfly chair, on the wings of a classic. Bright new angles pop modern in a graphic twist on the 1938 Hardoy Chair, aka the "Butterfly." Envisioned by Brooklyn-based designer Aelfie Oudghiri as a Turkish kilim, the handwoven flatweave dhurrie is inspired by the colorful coastal scene of American beach towns. Aqua, sour apple and white geometric forms radiate bold on a sunny orange backdrop, reflecting the iconic seascape dotted with ice cream shops, hot dog stands and surfers. Hand-whipstitched edge to edge in sour apple on a substantial tubular iron frame antiqued light zinc.

Found on m.cb2.com
1938 bergama butterfly chair
on the wings of a classic. Bright new angles pop modern in a graphic twist on the 1938 Hardoy Chair, aka the “Butterfly.” Envisioned by Brooklyn-based designer Aelfie Oudghiri as a Turkish kilim, the handwoven flatweave dhurrie is inspired by the colorful coastal scene of American beach towns. Aqua, sour apple and white geometric forms radiate bold on a sunny orange backdrop, reflecting the iconic seascape dotted with ice cream shops, hot dog stands and surfers. Hand-whipstitched edge to edge in sour apple on a substantial tubular iron frame antiqued light zinc.

 

We attempt to convey accurate information and credit to those whose images or research we have shared. If we have erred, please let us know, and we will correct any mistakes.

 

Architects and Their Chairs “B”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On May 12th

     B is For Breuer

Marcel Breuer image via The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research

Marcel Breuer image via The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research

 

 

Marcel Lajos Breuer was born May 21,1902 in Hungary. He attended university at the Bauhaus School and later was a teacher in the carpentry department. When he came to the United States he was a professor at Harvard University (1937-46) in the School of Architecture.

 First recognized for his invention of bicycle-handlebar-inspired tubular steel furniture, he designed his most famous creation, the Wassily Chair, so called after being admired by artist Wassily Kandinsky. It was the first chair to feature a bent steel frame. Breuer designed a whole range of tubular metal furniture including chairs, tables, stools and cupboards. Tubular steel has lots of qualities; it is affordable for the masses, hygienic and provides comfort without the need for springs to be introduced. Breuer considered all of his designs to be essential for modern living. Design_Technology.org

 

 Democratic Affordable Furniture for the Masses

                    B 34  1928

 

B 34 1928 via http://www.loeffler.de.com/de/sammlung

B 34 1928 via http://www.loeffler.de.com/de/sammlung

 

Breuer's flat aluminum band furniture (1932-1934) Image: design_technology.org

Breuer’s flat aluminum band furniture (1932-1934)
Between these years Breuer experimented with flat aluminium in his furniture. It was not as strong as tubular steel but was considerably cheaper. The seats were targeted at the mass- market and were sold in Wohnbedarf in Switzerland. The concave bands at the back are structurally necessary but at the same time are aesthetically pleasing.
The seat above is named the Armchair, Model No. 301. It is made from painted aluminium with a painted and moulded laminated seat and back. Image: design_technology.org

 

 

 

Plywood Chair

Plywood Chair

 

 

Lounge Chair

Lounge Chair

 

 

As an architect, Breuer worked primarily in concrete. Breuer’s buildings were always distinguished by an attention to detail and a clarity of expression. Considered one of the last true functionalist architects, Breuer helped shift the bias of the Bauhaus from “Arts & Crafts” to “Arts & Technology”.

 

 

jvworks: St. John's Abbey jvworks.blogspot.com in Collegeville, Minnesota

jvworks: St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota
jvworks.blogspot.com

 

 

[Marcel Breuer's 1969 Armstrong (aka Pirelli) Building, pre-IKEA

[Marcel Breuer’s 1969 Armstrong (aka Pirelli) Building, pre-IKEA
Image and story http://archidose.blogspot.com/2008/08/ikea-1-breuer-12.html

 

1966 Whitney Museum of American Art. New York (with H. Smith)

1966
1966 Whitney Museum of American Art. New York (with H. Smith)

 

 

  •  The UNESCO building in Paris

  • Lecture Hall, New York University (1961, New York City )

  • Whitney Museum of American Art (1966, New York City ) ,

  • St. John’s Abbey Church (1953, Collegeville, MN ),

  • Ameritrust Tower (Cleveland, his only skyscraper)

Complete list: http://www.marcelbreuer.org/Works.html

 

 

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Cheers and Chairs for 2013

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On December 31st

Four Blue Chairs

 

I love chairs, all different kinds of chairs. It was the “Four Blue Chairs” that punctuated the turn in the road that led to being an e-tailor of chairs.  My personal collection has a sweet 70’s Thonet rocker, a pair of well worn and loved Siesta chairs by Ingmar Relling, an antique rocker from West Virginia, a pair of Otto Gerdau beechwood chairs, mid-century wrought iron chairs, and a handful of other mid mo chairs that have come along for the ride!

Mies ven der Rohe is often quoted for saying, “A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. ” and since he designed both I take him at his word. The chair is the ultimate example of form and function…..

So friends, CHEERS and CHAIRS and a Happy 2013 !

      

 

      

Marion Mahony Griffin and husband Walter Burley Griffin, in Sydney in 1930

“We know immediately that we are in the presence of a force of nature, a woman of no uncertain opinions, a person possessed of deep convictions and profound spiritual experiences.”

– Excerpt from ‘Marion Mahony Reconsidered’

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Marion Mahony graduated from MIT in 1894, and was one of the first women to receive a degree in architecture. Her work in architecture began with the encouragement of her first cousin, Dwight Perkins, who had completed a program in MIT’s Department of Architecture three years earlier.

Though Marion was extremely talented, she struggled at times with her place in both society and the field of architecture. At MIT, she was unsure of her ability to complete the thesis required for her bachelors degree. However, her professor, Constant-Désiré Despradelle, pushed her forward.

After graduating from MIT, Mahony worked in her cousin’s architecture firm, which shared space with many architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1895 Mahony was the first employee hired by Frank Lloyd Wright. During her time working with Wright, Marion designed a variety of works, including:

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Do NOT Call Chloethiel Woodard Smith a “Woman Architect!”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On October 10th

Washington Square (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user AgnosticPreachersKid)

“Smith was offended all of her life by the term “woman architect.” She felt it demeaned her work and ability as an architect.”

Chloethiel Woodard Smith was one of the leading mid-century modern architects in Washington. In fact, at the time, she was considered the most successful female architect in the country. Smith was the driving force behind many esteemed projects, including:

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Louise Blanchard Bethune

“… there is no need whatever of a woman architect. No one wants her, no one yearns for her and there is no special line in architecture to which she is better adapted than a man . [The woman architect] has exactly the same work to do as a man. When a woman enters the profession she will be met kindly and will be welcome but not as a woman, only as an architect.” ~ Louise Blanchard Bethune

In a predominantly masculine profession, Louise Blanchard Bethune proved that she could hold her own. It was also clear that Louise felt that there was no need to distinguish women and men architects from each other. She felt that they did the same job, and therefore required no special treatment.

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The Furntiture Designs of Lilly Reich

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On August 15th

Furniture Designs of Lilly Reich (Photo Courtesy of Flickr user Gribiche)

Lilly Reich was a German modernist designer, and closely collaborated with Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe for over 10 years. In fact, the famous “Mies Chair”, was not designed by Mies alone. Conclusive records state that this honor should be shared by his co-designer, Lilly Reich. This Mies Chair has become an “icon of modern classic design, an international symbol of good taste, perhaps the classiest chair you can own.”(www.modernfurnitureclassics.com)

As with other women of her time, Lilly was confined to traditionally acceptable female careers. Therefore, she got her start working as a designer of textiles and women’s apparel. However, her passion for design and architecture surpassed the confinement of gender roles in society at that time. In 1912, Lilly joined the Deutsch Werkbund, and became the first female to be made director.

The Deutsch Werkbund is an organization credited with the first seeds of modern design, and was a precursor to the Bauhaus School. During her time there, Lilly worked in the studio of the famous Bauhaus designer Josef Hoffman. It was also during this time at the Werkbund that Reich met Mies Van der Rohe.

Many would argue that Lilly Reich was at least as skilled a designer as Mies, and was most likely more articulate than he was. Mies was typically more reserved. Although he was said to have rarely solicited other’s comments, he was always eager to discuss design with Lilly. Those who knew both Lilly and Meis regarded her as “the detail and execution person”, and Mies as the “broad conceptualist.”

Together with Mies van der Rohe, Lilly Reich designed many notable works, including:

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#7: Poul Volther

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On March 14th

Poul M Volther - Photo courtesy of Flickr user segundo

Poul Volther (1923-2001) had an amazing ability to find potential in things that others could not. His first famed work was the Corona Chair or “Petal Chair”, introduced in 1964. This chair was crafted out of solid oak, and was a design unlike any other of the time. He incorporated every aspect of the various phases of design into one piece. These phases included:

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